DOD News Briefing with Gen. Cartwright, Undersecretary Hale and Christine Fox from the Pentagon
MR: (Inaudible) It's late in the afternoon. We'll get started so you can hopefully meet deadlines.
MR. HALE: I thought mid-afternoon.
MR: (Inaudible) Okay. As the secretary mentioned, you have, to further answer your questions here, General Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs; Mr. Bob Hale, the comptroller of the department; and Ms. Christine Fox, the director of CAPE.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Let me -- let me at least open it up with one or two moments of comments, and then we'll go in any direction that you'd like to take us.
You know, one of the key attributes here I think that's important to remember is that this is not a one-off activity. We started back in '08 and '09 with culling out programs that were not performing and were not contributing to the capabilities that we thought we had to have, either because they were failing on their own or they didn't match up.
That activity has continued inside the department to ensure that we stay relevant to the wars that we're in and that we also start to address the uncertainties and the unforecast activities that may occur in the wars that we -- that we will face in the future.
This has been probably, as much as anything, work related to culture, because moving large organizations and keeping them competitive and keeping them on the edge of the opportunities that technology might bring us that we need to have in order to prosecute future national security needs, that requires a culture that is agile, has the capabilities to remain agile and remain competitive.
And that's a difficult activity in and of itself.
I have all too many experiences, from '70s forward, of having capabilities that we thought were right for the last war and really turned out not to be what we needed for the next war. And no, there is no crystal ball, but there is an understanding that through your people and through the capabilities that you field, you can have the Department of Defense and the national security apparatus relevant for the next conflicts. That's our objective here.
The other thing that I think for the chiefs has been key in this activity is understanding the implications on the force of the decisions that you make. And all too often I've walked flight lines; I've walked, you know, maintenance garages, et cetera, to talk to people who didn't have enough people, didn't have the spare parts, didn't have what they needed in order to be ready, and that manifested itself really in the quality of work and the satisfaction of the job, which then translates into who you can recruit and how long you can keep them.
And so making sure that we keep this organization relevant, competitive, agile for the next-generation conflicts is at the core of this activity. And having the resources in the wrong place doesn't serve any of us well. These are hard decisions. They're culturally hard. They're manifested for the nation hard. Yes, people will have to either adapt, or in some cases we may not keep as many people in the same types of things. But this is a re-balancing to ensure this department remains ready both for today's conflicts and for the unknowns and unanticipateds of the future conflict.
And so it's in that guise that the service chiefs and Admiral Mullen and I are going at this. And please don't misread; this is something that we believe is number one on our list.
This is something that we are going to go after.
We've all lived through times where we've done this wrong. I'm not guaranteeing that we have the right exact answer. But we do have a passion that the force that we have today is the best this nation has ever had. And we're not going to jeopardize that either today or as we move to the future.
Q There was some talk about, a certain number of people within the Defense Department will lose their jobs as a result of these decisions announced. Do you have any estimate about how many people we're talking about?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I think there are estimates out there, as we look at the eaches of the areas that we've looked in and as the secretary walked you through the various pillars of activity that we're working at.
But I think the more important thing for us is, do we have the right people in the right kinds of jobs? Are some of the people that are not potentially aligned properly, can we realign them in a way that's useful? Or do we actually need to go out and recruit to new skills?
I mean, there are any number of new capabilities out there that we're going to have to go recruit to: things like cyber, things that get at the capabilities that we think are going to be relevant as we move to the future.
So precision on that? No. Rough estimates in each of the areas? To some extent.
Q Is there an overall number that you can offer us?
MR. HALE: I think it's really early to do that. I mean, we've done some internal analysis to help the secretary make the decisions. Now we need to go through the detailed implementation. Only after we've done that are we going to have a firm idea of the personnel changes. So it's premature to give you a number.
Q Could you at least -- I mean, since we're writing here about savings and money that will be transferred within the overall budget, can you give us the rough estimate that you have, about how much this might free up?
MR. HALE: I mean, I would rather not, in that I don't think it's ready for prime time. We can give you some ideas of total people involved in these organizations. JFCOM has about 1,600 civilians and another 1,200 active military.
The Business Transformation Agency has around 350 civilian employees, and I -- it's about 200 employees, if I recall.
MS. FOX: That's correct.
MR. HALE: So that will give you a sense.
Now, some of those are going to transition to other jobs, but it gives you a sense of the magnitude.
Q I believe the secretary said JFCOM HQ had 2,800 military and 3,000 civilians. So I think --
MS. FOX: Twenty-eight hundred is a combination of military and civilian.
MR. HALE: You're right. It's the sum of those two. And the 3,000, I think, was a contractor number.
MS. FOX: The contractors.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Yeah.
Q Can I ask you a version of a question they were asking the secretary? I mean, this all sounds like common sense -- (off mike) -- stuff, but, I mean, most corporate reorgs don't have Congress looking over their shoulder, saying, you know, we actually do want to spend money on the stuff that you don't want to spend money on. I mean, how are you going to make what sounds like a commonsense argument actually stick when it means losing jobs and money in somebody's congressional district? I mean, how does that -- how does that change the argument from here to there?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Well, I'll start and ask if others want to add. I mean, first we've got a chief executive officer who is heavily involved in this. You saw him. He is driving this process. That will have a lot of influence on the Hill.
And I think we have cogent arguments in a time when Congress, frankly, is cutting our budget. And the 302(b) allocations took 7 billion dollars to 8 billion out of defense for fiscal '11. We have to do something to accommodate those. We oppose that. But it looks as though in '11 it will happen.
So I think there is a case. I think the Hill recognizes we need to make some changes. And I believe that with the information we provide them and with his leadership, we will succeed in many of those.
You want to add to --
MR. HALE: My sense, though, I can -- and is that if we don't do these things, then the consequence is pretty significant. The question is, can we build this -- a compelling argument in these areas? We believe internally we can.
We're going to -- we're going to work at that, articulate our arguments both on the Hill and to the American people as to why we need to do this. And at the end of the day, we will probably not end up exactly where we thought and we'll probably not end up exactly where others thought, but if we can move this institution in a direction, which is what we're trying to do, that preserves our capabilities and national security, we'll persevere, and you will certainly not see any lack of trying on the part of all of us.
Q Thanks. I know that politics and the military don't mix, but politics and budgets are basically the same thing. This is all predicated on 1 percent steady annual growth. No surprise to you, there are many voices on the Hill, growing louder every day, that say you're not even going to get that.
So what are you doing to protect the 1 percent or to fight for the 1 percent? And what will you do if you don't get even that 1 percent?
MR. HALE: Well, first, in terms of protecting it, I think the actions today, as Secretary Gates said, are critical to that. We need to make a strong case to the American people and to the Congress that we are tightening our belts. I think without that case, they won't support the 1 percent. And obviously, we also need to point out that we have strong programs that are tied to national security, to fighting both today's wars and preparing for the future. I think the themes the secretary has established will help us defend this budget.
I'd like to -- I don't want to give up. In terms of what we'll do, I think we will support our budget to the end in fiscal '11 and beyond. If the Congress makes changes, we'll have to accommodate them. That's how our system works. But we will -- we continue to support our out-year budget plan and our fiscal '11 plan, and we'll do it until the final vote.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I think we would be far more vulnerable if we don't take these actions upon ourselves first.
MR. HALE: Absolutely.
Q Was any consideration about the timing of such an announcement with five months to go before midterm elections given?
Is there any thought that maybe it should be postponed until after those elections? Or is this so important that it had to be announced as soon as it got to the point where you could announce it?
MR. HALE: Well, I think it's time to get started, or the secretary felt that. It's not five minutes; we're several months out. But I hear your point, and we did debate the timing, both in terms of the elections and the fact that Congress is still acting on our budget. He feels we need to get started, and I think he's right. These are difficult decisions, and they'll be difficult to implement. And they'll take time, both to figure out the details and to be fair to the people involved. So if we waited until February to announce any of them, that's another six or eight months we've lost toward moving toward the end. So he believes we need to get started, and as I said, I agree with him.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: And this is not the beginning. I mean, this is the beginning of a next set of announcements, but it is not the beginning of the activity. And we don't want any caps on the activity. We have momentum moving both in our culture and in our people and with the Hill and the administration on these activities, that started with programs and are now moving into these four pillars we talked about today. So it is also a momentum issue. Yes, everybody can pick it and everybody will find any given day has a disadvantage and an advantage. It's just time to get this done.
Q There's a subtle difference in the language on -- in the press release on the elimination of organizations. You talk about eliminating NII and J6, talk about eliminating BTA. Then you say "recommend" the closure of JFCOM. Is there a reason why the verbiage is different there?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I think JFCOM is an area where we're working our way through the eaches; in other words, there are several mission areas associated with JFCOM that we're trying to understand. Some of them we keep; some of them we will actually eliminate and not conduct and -- continue to do.
On the recommendation side of that activity, that requires us to also go to the president. And so that piece, that one element of standing down a command, is a recommendation because we have to carry it forward to the president.
Q Okay. So it's presidential approval you need, but not congressional approval.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: That's correct. Now there are elements that could trigger congressional activities, but we'll get that in the analysis. But the reasoning up front is that we know that that has to go to the president.
Q Has the president his consent to that move yet?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: It's a recommendation.
Q Which you've announced --
MR. HALE: It's been discussed with the president --
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Yeah. Yeah.
MR. HALE: -- but I think we need to leave him to actually say his final recommendation.
MR. HALE: It won't be a surprise to him.
Q The secretary mentioned looking at Europe. Can you talk about what exactly -- what command structures you're looking at?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I think the elements in Europe that we're trying to realign here are, one, the structures associated with the ranks of the major commands there have remained intact since the Cold War and since the time that we had multiple divisions, up to 100,000 troops, in Europe. That's not the case now, but the rank structure and the headquarters structure remain the same. So is that appropriate? Should we go back and adjust it? Not only the rank structure but the size of the headquarters and what they do.
So that's the thought process there. We're substantially smaller than we were. We started that adjustment about four years ago by changing the rank structure of the combatant command. Now we need to align the components make sure that that's all coherent and consistent with where we're heading.
Q Could that involve base closures as well?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: It depends on the decisions that have been made there. I mean, we haven't made those. We're looking at structure. So depending on what we decide is the appropriate structure for Europe, that may allow us to consolidate, may allow us to optimize certain training areas over others. Those are things we're going to look at.
MS. FOX: Could I answer that too, that in addition it's not just Europe that we're going to look at in the way that General Cartwright has described. We're looking globally at all of the command structures for rank and consolidation and size and all of those opportunities.
Q Similar to the authorities required to close JFCOM, I know that the number of flag and general officers is set by -- (inaudible) -- does DOD have the right to come in below that at any number it wants? Or do you have to ask a mother-may-I to cut the officers that the secretary talked about?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: We'll go back and go through that in detail on the legal side. But generally speaking, we can have less. It's, we can't exceed. There is associated with certain billets rank structure that's called out. And if we adjust any of those, we'll have to go back.
But for the most part, this is within our purview to do.
Q And is that the same for the senior civilians? Yes, yes?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Right, right.
It's the -- some of -- some of the billets though are mandated either in congressional language or otherwise. And where that is the case, we'd have to go back and make an adjustment with them.
Q Viola Gienger from Bloomberg News.
Can you give any -- if you can't give the number of jobs that might be lost, can you give an estimate of the amount of money that you think you might be able to save? The secretary has mentioned trying to achieve a threshold of 2 to 3 percent growth including the 1 percent that's then budgeted in the out years.
How much money are you talking about needing to save to redirect?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Okay, I'll let the comptroller. But I just want to put one caveat on the front of it.
MR. HALE: Keep the comptroller of this, if you'd like. (Laughs.)
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: We're not trying to save. We're trying to reallocate into the areas.
Q (Off mike.)
MR. HALE: And we've said over the five year period '12 to '16 that we need about $100 billion, most of which would move from support-type activities or part of it into forces and modernization. That's the overall commitment.
As I said before, I don't think we have numbers yet that are ready for prime time for these particular activities. We need to go through the implementation. But they will be a part of that hundred billion.
Q Can I follow up on that just briefly? The Base Realignment and Closure operation ended up not saving nearly as money -- as much money as was expected and projected originally, in my understanding. Are you doing anything specifically different? Have you looked back at that whole process to see what needs to be done differently to --
MR. HALE: I think what happened is it cost a lot more than we expected. We were hoping it would cost in the low 20s of billions to do; it was about 35 billion dollars. We'll save 45 billion, maybe more, per year in perpetuity after September 2011. And I think I wasn't here when those estimates were done, but I think that hasn't changed; it's the costs that were a lot higher than we had estimated.
And at the moment, this set of recommendations doesn't have specific base closures. Now, you heard the secretary say that he would invite the services to consider them. We'll have to take them on their merits if they make any proposals. But there aren't any on the table at the moment.
Q Thank you.
Q Given the widely perceived rising tension with countries like China on the seas, has there been any decision made toward enhancing the U.S.'s naval capabilities?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Well, I think we are looking at China. We're looking at -- and its role in the -- in the Asian area, Asian Pacific in particular. But we are looking not as part of this activity so much as part of other activities about our relationships in the Pacific, about our basing constructs, our posture, and trying to make sure that we are aligned to keep our interests viable and our access to the region for trade, for commerce, et cetera, on a footing that is competitive and allows both us and our allies to continue to use the -- in your case here, the -- the lines of communication that are available out there and have free access to them.
You know there are challenges as people continue to press out the distances from their coastlines that they want to have control over, as the competition for resources that lie on the ocean bed and underneath is pursued. Those are all going to be issues that are coming both now and in the future and that we want to be well postured to at least ensure free access under international norms as they currently exist.
Q Sir, under this concept, how much leeway are you going to give to the individual services to reallocate this money? Because there are certain programs in the past that the services may have wanted but have, you know, not necessarily been in line -- with -- the department has sort of considered to be a priority.
And as, you know, you have more of these joint activities going on, and I'm thinking particularly ballistic missile defense, which is, you know, on a naval ship but very much a joint activity, I mean, how much leeway are you going to be able to give the services to allow them to modernize where they want to and in line with what the department wants to do?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I think we'll hold the capabilities there, the processes that we have in the department today -- we may robust them up -- but from the joint perspective, ensuring that standards are incorporated so that whatever is brought into the force that is interoperable and capable of interacting in a joint way, not just a service way. So that's point number one. And that's generally done through the requirements in the JROC process.
Then the chiefs work hard on the capabilities of the individual services to ensure that they are aligned and that they're not redundant, et cetera. And then there's this other vote that's the Secretary of Defense and the administration, that also ensure that these desired capabilities the services may want, in fact, match up.
And so that debate won't go away, but what we are trying to make sure is that where we know we have need and we have common solutions -- in other words, the shipbuilding program -- and we know we need to get certain combatants out there, either for missile defense or for surface combatants, et cetera, next generation of the nuclear submarines, those types of capabilities, we'll have a relatively strong debate and detailed debate both in the JROC side of the house and the tank side of the house -- so the chiefs, the vice chiefs -- to ensure that we're not being redundant. That's the whole activity here, was to get to the cultural side of this issue so that everybody can, in fact, contribute, but we're not being overly redundant in some of these capabilities.
Q Sorry to ask you a really academic question, but it follows on that. You mentioned the JROC. I mean, has this process brought with it a reassessment of requirements? Because clearly you have to match those two. And everything we've heard today is about the inputs, not the output needed.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: It has. I mean, you know, we have worked very hard on the JROC side of the equation to align both to the capabilities and bring the system up to the capabilities we need to fight today's war. One of the problems that both the secretary and I had early on was the requirements process was continuing to go on and build what we were doing before and not really adapting to the fight. So bringing it around to that kind of capability, bringing it on to kind of a two-foot approach here, one for the urgent needs and the things that have to come quickly, and one for the things that you want to reduce the risk -- large expenditures like an aircraft carrier, something like that -- making sure they don't compete in exactly the same way, and that they get to the fight in a relevant time.
Two, that what we bring to the fight can, in fact, adapt to the unknowns of the future. That has been a big driver for the JROC.
And then, third is ensuring that, whatever it is, that we don't turn it into "the one" -- you know, the Battlestar Galactica that is the answer to all problems, okay?
The reality there is, we've got to have numbers. We have moved so aggressively towards exquisite that we have ended up with the -- kind of what the admiral would call one ship for each coast and that's all we can afford. And we've got to get out of that business; we've got to find the value of scale in this also. And the JROC is pushing on that.
But it's important to understand that the standards of what we built have to be usable in the joint war fight. That's critical.
Sir? I know you want -- you had another one on that ?
Q (Laughs.) I had a quick question about oversight, in talking about the reduction of these independent reports. For example, a Fleet Forces command just had a relatively sobering report on the readiness of their Aegis fleet, looking at, you know, their personnel issues, manning issues. You -- they pointed out there were -- four out of eight Ticonderoga-class inserts were not satisfactory for the -- for the Aegis mission.
How -- and that report would seem to be something that would be necessary for the Navy. How -- or, you know, with the reduction of the reports, I mean, how -- what's going to be to determine -- because it's not necessarily flattering to what's going on in fleet forces. What's to stop from going, like, "Well, we don't need Admiral (inaudible) go and do this. You know, we could just leave him alone and" --
MR. HALE: Yeah, yeah. Well, a little of it -- and I'll let my colleagues, the king of assessors here talk about it -- but --
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Queen.
MR. HALE: Queen, sorry.
MS. FOX: That's all right.
MR. HALE: But part of this is, you know, we have worked hard to build the Defense Readiness Reporting System, number one.
Number two, you're going to still have to have assessments. The question here is, how many do you need? And the glaring, you know, thing that you're trying to prevent here is that the studies end up costing more than the solution.
Because what we do is agree to study it, because we can't agree on the solution, and so we keep studying. And so part of what we're trying to get to here is: What is necessary? What informs us? And then what is but a stopgap to avoid indecision? And trying to make sure that what we're doing here makes sense on the study-money side.
MS. FOX: And just -- that's exactly right. We are not going to try to get away from all oversight reports; the secretary said he's freezing them. But we are going to be reviewing the oversight reports and see -- and make sure that they are adding value along the lines of the report that you mentioned; and make sure that there's not redundancies; and make sure they're not just taking time and costing us to add staff to meet the requirements of the oversight reports, but producing reports people are not looking at, are not reading, are not paying attention to or taking action on.
And so we're going to try to look at the reports for their value. And obviously, the goal is to keep the ones that are of value -- in fact, add to the value of the oversight reports.
Q Any irony in the fact that the secretary ordered a couple of reviews and a task force? I was trying to keep count, but there were several.
MS. FOX: He has pointed that irony out to me on a number of occasions. And have you also kept track of the timelines that we have to complete them? So he's not interested in having long-winded studies to produce studies.
MR. HALE: My sense of the targets here are, though, once -- we start these, some of these reports, and we just keep doing them and doing them. People forget who asked for them. Some relate to Congress; but some internally as well.
We would -- I would go after -- I've signed a few reports, and I've said to my staff, "Anybody look at this?" "Well, probably not." And some of them, I mean, are just outdated. Those are the ones we've got to go after first.
Q So you just go to Congress and say, "Hey, look, like you've got us doing nine reports on, you know, military capabilities in Europe. Do we -- could we just do one?" I mean, and then come --
MR. HALE: Yeah, that's another thing. Sometimes we do several that are similar. We're actually going to combine them, and you're exactly right.
And as we were making calls to staff today, as I was, a number of them are sympathetic with this. They understand that this is an issue. And I think every once in a while you need to rebasline -- to use the secretary's words -- and this is a good time to do it.
Q The IT consolidation, how will that work practically? I mean, it's tough enough already to get the help desk, you know? I mean, just how do you think that'll settle?
MR. HALE: I think when you look at the J6, the NII and the DISA organizations, along with some of the command-and-control responsibilities at Joint Forces Command, that what we want to do is recognize first that the rapid change in capabilities offered by IT over the past few years, we're still organized for what some would call a circuit-based phone-line world. And so if you could reorganize in such a way that you were focused on networks, which is really where we do our business today, that's first.
Second, if you could move the operational activities under operational control and take the oversight into administrative and policy issues and put them in another organization, that would align us in such a way that what has become the reality in that our networks are really weapons, we treat them as weapons systems, they go all the way from the tactical edge -- the Aegis or the warfighter in the foxhole -- back to the headquarters. They are used day in and day out for everything that we do. How do you now start to think about them and organize yourself in such way to do that, in that that organization probably has tentacles that extend beyond the department? Because as we work whole-of-government issues, we have to be able to witness the concerns that we had after the December potential attack that we need to be able to connect not only inside the department but broader to the whole government, and then, beyond our government, to other governments, to ensure, as we fight in coalitions, which is the reality of the world that we're in today, we do not fight as Americans alone: everything that we've been doing is a coalition.
And if our networks aren't organized in such a way -- to be able to accommodate that, we're disadvantaged. And so much of what we're trying to do is now consolidate this work, get it organized it -- like we would organize a weapons system, and get policy and oversight put together in one organization so that we know where it is, it's coherent, and it's managed, and it's managed inside the department and beyond.
Q Question's about joint forces. First, why, of all the agencies and organizations underneath this huge DOD umbrella was Joint Forces Command seen as one that offered the best potential for moving some money, to use you guys's phrase? And also, one of the things he -- the secretary said was that some of the -- JFCOM's responsibilities will -- could be reassigned to other entities. Isn't there a danger there that we -- instead of having one JFCOM, we end up having four or five or six?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Well, I'm not sure about the four or five or six JFCOMs. I mean, the issue here is one of, first and foremost, much of what we organized Joint Forces Command around was joint forces, okay? And it was at a time when joint really had no home for doctrine, for training, for the activities of the day-to-day management of the force, okay? And also, it had no -- we had no place for joint command and control, network management, et cetera.
And so the question now is, given the opportunity to realign some of these skills after we have really set up the processes, and to align those processes so that we get out of the way redundant steps, redundant and duplication in our work, how do you take these pieces and put them in the right place?
What do you keep? What can actually be set off and no longer done, because it's being done someplace else? And that's what we're looking at.
So in force management as an example, we already do force management in the Joint Staff and at the service chiefs' staffs. The activity that goes on at JFCOM is an intermediate step between the regional combatant commanders and the Joint Staff.
The question is, do you need that intermediate step anymore? We have put IT processes and capabilities out there now that have convinced us that that intermediate step is no longer necessary.
So that's one piece. As we go to the networks, the command and control responsibilities that currently exist at Joint Forces Command are now being done in this new agency combined under CYBERCOM. So those activities get brought up. The policy, the oversight is done in a new organization. So that's shifted.
And so the question here is, how much of that now needs to be -- let's make up numbers here. But if there's 100 people in Washington doing this and there's 100 people at Joint Forces command, does it take 200? Does it take 150? Does it take 120? Does it take 80? That's what we're going to go find out. But we're going to consolidate.
We're going to move it to a central location and ensure that what we're doing satisfies the needs of the regional combatant commanders and the institution, without losing joint, and ensures that what we get done here is done, you know, efficiently and effectively, and any resource that we can garner in that area, to apply to someplace else, is garnered.
STAFF: We have time for one or two more.
Q Two quick ones here.
What do you see -- what potential do you see for further consolidation between Joint Staff and OSD offices across the board? And also what are your first impressions of how the services have done so far, in proposing efficiencies in the POM process?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I think in the consolidation of the Joint Staff and OSD areas, the thing that we in uniform want to protect is to ensure that we have sufficient capability to have an opinion, okay, and that that opinion can in fact be one of the chairman in his best military advice to the secretary and the president.
So we'll preserve that.
But the question then becomes, what beyond that is occurring now in these staffs that are being done in duplication that is not necessary for the chairman to be able to provide? And that's what we're going after. And what we've found in the J6 -- and this is the second reduction that we've done on the J6 side -- is much of what we were doing between J6 and NII was a shared activity anyway. And so the consolidation of it just made sense. And what of that was operational made sense to move over into an operational command, out of the building and out of the administrative oversight part of the equation.
So we'll go through in each of the joint -- the so-called J codes functionalities in the Joint Staff and ensure -- if it's there in order to ensure that the chairman can provide his best military advice, we'll retain it. If it's there because it's duplicative and we're just trying to have a military face on it, we'll probably try to collapse the organizations.
Q And the second question, the first impressions of how they're doing in POM?
MR HALE: Oh, they're doing fantastic. The services have all said, and I'll ask Christine to comment, too -- they've all said they met the targets. We're now looking at the specifics, or the actionable, measurable. There are a number of proposals. I'm not going to get ahead of them and talk specifics at this point. That wouldn't be appropriate. But they have clearly taken this seriously.
We didn't give them much time. Actually, they got this guidance much later than the normal guidance they get for the POM process. So I think they've worked hard and are doing their very best. And we have to work with them and cull out the good ideas, and there may be a few bad ones that have to go.
Christine, you want to --
MS. FOX: Just to add as a reminder, we did give the services, in the guidance that, as Bob Hale says, is very -- came late to them -- we did give them specific places they could take money and specific places they should put money.
So they're -- they did not have a lot of flexibility in terms of the categories. They did take that on board. It was very attractive to them, as the secretary said, to get to keep the money.
So these are just coming in, and we're just beginning the review in detail. But they certainly appreciated being able to keep it, followed the guidelines of where they should look to take it and find the efficiencies. And I think there's a lot of ideas in there that you'll be hearing about.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Thank you.
STAFF: Thanks, everyone.
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